Laurence Kirmayer

Academic title(s): 


Contact Information
Email address: 
laurence.kirmayer [at]
Fax number: 

Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry
1033 Pine Avenue West
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1A1



Areas of expertise: 

cultural psychiatry, psychiatric anthropology, philosophy of psychiatry


Dr. Kirmayer is a James McGill Professor and the Director of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. He is editor-in-chief of Transcultural Psychiatry (the official journal of the Section on Transcultural Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association) and directs the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit at the Department of Psychiatry at the Jewish General Hospital, where he conducts research on mental health services for immigrants and refugees, the mental health of indigenous peoples, and the anthropology of psychiatry. He founded and directs the annual McGill Summer Program in Social and Cultural Psychiatry and the annual Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry. He codirects the National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research as well as the FRSQ Network on Suicide Strategic Group on Aboriginal Suicide. His past research includes studies on the development and evaluation of a cultural consultation service in mental health, pathways and barriers to mental health care for immigrants, somatization in primary care, cultural concepts of mental health and illness in Inuit communities, risk and protective factors for suicide among Inuit youth in Nunavik (northern Quebec), and resilience among indigenous peoples. Current projects include the refinement of the cultural formulation for DSM-V; an international consortium to study the effectiveness of cultural consultation; cross-national comparative study of models of mental health services for diverse populations; the development of an online multicultural mental health resource centre to improve the delivery of mental health services in primary care to culturally diverse populations; culturally-based, family-centred mental health promotion for Aboriginal youth in communities across Canada; analysis of Inuit mental health epidemiological surveys in Nunavik and Nunavut; the role of metaphor in ritual and sumbolic healing; and critical neuroscience perspectives on the interaction of mind, brain, and social world in psychiatry theory.

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